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CAST: what is it? What is it for?
What is it?
In the Curly world, the patina that forms on the hair thanks to the application of one or more styling products is identified as "CAST", which becomes hard after drying, leaving the hair with a "wet effect" and very defined curls but not very voluminous.
What is it for?
The cast is mainly used to maintain the shape of the curls until the end of drying, strongly limiting the frizz.
At the end of drying, the cast is eliminated (in curly slang: break the cast) to increase the volume of the hair
Why does it sometimes form and sometimes not?
There are no precise values.
The formation of the cast depends on various factors such as the difference in hair between person and person, the quantity and type of products used on the hair, the amount of water present in the hair at the time of applying the styling product, the temperature and humidity environment, the temperature and the power of the air flow of the hairdryer etc.
It may happen that a styling product is unable to form cast depending on the leave-in used previously, or it may happen that the part of the hair in contact with the shoulders or back, due to rubbing, is unable to form cast.
We can say that there is no fixed rule in the formation of the cast, there are numerous factors involved that prevent its a priori determination.
What products form cast?
Generally speaking and with due exceptions, the products that form cast are the following:
MOUSSE: Greater cast formation - Generally contains oils and butters.
GEL: Medium Cast Formation - Somewhere in between, there are drier or more oily gels with different effects on cast formation.
CREAM: Less cast formation - Usually rich in emollient ingredients such as oils and butters.
Styling products can be used alone or in combination with each other. Trying out various styling combinations allows you to create more or less casts. Remember: if you are not satisfied with a styling product, try using it in combination with another (without mixing them, one in succession to the other).
Techniques for breaking the cast
Breaking the cast is one of the basic actions for those who follow the curly method. A fundamental operation to obtain a balanced look between definition and volume, let's see what the basic techniques are:
Scrunch Out The Cast (also called Scrunch Out The Crunch - SOTC)
This technique is based on doing scrunch: take the strands in the palm of the hand with an upward movement and squeeze them slightly.
It is a technique to be used on dry hair trying to be delicate, with the help of two drops of oil on the palms of the hands. Below are 3 examples of oils suitable for the purpose:
In addition to using your hands, this technique can also be done with a silk scarf, a microfibre towel (smooth) or even a classic cotton t-shirt (smooth without special textures). At curlyselection.com we offer our customers a high quality silk towel fit for purpose: 100% natural silk hair towel (50x100cm)
Pay attention to scunch in all directions without leaving any untreated parts, learning to feel where the cast is left.
Sleep In The Cast
This technique is quite intuitive: with completely dry hair and scalp you wear a Buff (you can find them HERE) or a silk nightcap whose meaning is to protect the hair while you sleep.
The movements we make during sleep break the cast in our place and when we wake up it will be enough to scrunch it to finish undoing it, in any areas where it is still present.
It is important to remember that this technique involves very dry hair to avoid creating a congenial environment for fungal proliferation and to avoid accidental breakage (hair is more fragile when wet)
Hair dryer with diffuser
The cast can also be undone from mid-drying onwards, when we are using the hair dryer. Just move your hair or hair dryer more to get more volume in a few minutes.
If we are looking for more volume and less cast, we can dry the hair by putting the strands directly into the diffuser (Pixie Diffusing).
If we are looking for greater definition and more cast, we can use the diffuser by placing it a few centimeters from the hair without touching it directly, moving it around all the hair (Hover Diffusing).